Rally Japan - 3rd Day - 1st Loop: Evans increased his lead as drama hit Rovanpera

At the end of the morning loop of the third day, Elfyn Evans is still leading Rally Japan with Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak following him.

Elfyn Evans remains the leader of Rally Japan after SS10 and set the fastest time in Stage 8 increasing his lead over the second Thierry Neuville. However, the last one was faster than the Toyota driver in SS9, therefore their between gap was decreased to 4,7 from 5,9 seconds after the end of hat stage.

Neuville is still in second place overall and did not feel comfortable to push in SS10 due to his pacenotes, so he lost some time in comparison with Evans after that stage and their gap is now at 6,5 seconds.

Ott Tanak completes the top three and his gap from his teammate is at 20,4 seconds. The Estonian set the fastest time in SS10.

Tamakoto Katsuta climbed to fourth place overall after Kalle Rovanpera's mistake in Stage 8, but he lost 12,4 seconds in SS9 as he had big slides towards the end of this stage.

Gus Greensmith completes the top five and did not push so much in this loop as his target is to return his Puma back at home.

Sebastien Ogier is sixth overall and took some positions back from WRC2 runners while he was the fastest driver in Stage 9.

Kalle Rovanpera lost his third place as he dropped more than two minutes on the first stage of Saturday. More specifically, he ran wide on a left-hander and clouted a rock face with the front right of the car, causing the puncture, therefore he had to stop to change the wheel. In addition to that, he arrived to the end with a damaged front right wheel and dropped 23,2 seconds in Stage 9 resulting in slipping to seventh behind his teammate Ogier. It must be mentioned that he had no spare wheel for the rest of the loop. Finally, he was working on his Yaris before the start of Stage 10 and he did not start the stage at the scheduled time, therefore he received one-minute penalty for starting six minutes late the final stage of the Saturday morning. He drove slowly through the stage 10 as he was using the punctured tyre from SS8 on the car. His spare wheel got bent in the last stage and he wants to save that for the 50km road section back to service.

Craig Breen restarted today under the regulations of Rally2, but he dropped 17,6 seconds in Stage 8 after suffering from a puncture.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch the overall classification after SS10:

Photo Credits: Toyota

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